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December 10, 2013

Ranked Rivals250 brings changes from watch list

Class of 2015 Rankings: Rivals100 - Rivals250

While Tuesday marks the first true ranking of the class of 2015 Rivals250 presented by Under Armour, there is still plenty of movement to examine when the list is compared to August's Rivals250 to watch.

Starting right at the top at No. 101 is Dallas (Texas) Skyline wide receiver Carlos Strickland, who was not on the August watch list but has offers from LSU, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and others.

Rivals.com Southwest analyst Jason Howell said there is a lot to like about Strickland.

"Strickland was a bit under the radar coming into the season, but Rivals.com saw an early preview of things to come at the Rivals250 Underclassmen Challenge presented by Under Armour this summer," Howell said. "It was clear then there was potential. The tall receiver had a long frame at 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds with nice body control and athleticism to go with it. During the 2013 season, he showed he could also answer the bell when his name was called, as a leading receiver for a strong Dallas Skyline program."

Nos. 102 and 103 feature Alpharetta, Ga., offensive guard Nick Wilson and Miami (Fla.) Central wide receiver Da'Vante Phillips, respectively. Wilson just missed out on the Rivals100 but held steady from August with a 5.9 Rivals Rating, while Phillips actually dropped from 6.0 to 5.9.

"Wilson benefits from playing in a terrific high school program, allowing him to focus on being a true guard from early in his career," Rivals.com Southeast analyst Woody Wommack said. "He's a bulldog at the position in a run-heavy offense and has the speed and athleticism to really get out and move, both into the second level and when he's asked to pull. He looks to have really gotten stronger during the year and I expect to see that continue in the future."

Rivals.com Southeast analyst Kynon Codrington said: "The Miami (Fla.) Central standout battled some nagging injuries during his junior season. When healthy, Phillips is a smooth wideout that creates separation and can pick up yards after the catch. He has above average ball skills and he isn't afraid to fight for the ball in traffic. The Florida commit isn't a burner, but his speed is deceptive enough to get defensive backs turned around."

Honolulu (Hawaii) Punahou defensive end Canton Kaumatule has been placed at No. 109 and was bumped up to 5.9 and right behind him at No. 110 sits Chester (Va.) Thomas Dale defensive tackle Darvin Taylor II, another prospect to get a ratings bump to 5.9.

"Hawaii isn't exactly a breeding ground of top-level talent, but once every few years a player like Kaumatule comes along," Rivals.com West analyst Rob Cassidy said. "Kaumatule has an ideal body type and freakish athleticism for his size. He's the type of player that will garner a laundry list of offers before he makes his choice. Not many people have seen Kaumatule play in person because of his geographic location and he doesn't go up against the greatest competition, but he dominated like a national-level prospect should against weak opposition. There's plenty to be said about his motor and quickness off the edge."

[ THE LIST: Initial Class of 2015 Rivals250 ]

Rivals.com Mid-Atlantic analyst Adam Friedman said: "Taylor is a high energy defensive tackle with an aggressiveness that is tough for any interior lineman to handle. Taylor is very strong in the lower body and is every bit of his listed 6-foot-2, 311-pounds. Taylor is well-coached and has good hand technique. When he combines that technique with his explosiveness off the line, he can really take over a game."

Four other prospects also moved to 5.9 and landed between Nos. 115 and 122 in the rankings.

At No. 115 is Cincinnati (Ohio) Winton Woods offensive tackle George Brown followed immediately by Highlands Ranch (Colo.) Valor Christian cornerback Eric Lee.

"From very early on we knew Brown would be one of the most athletic linemen in this class, but after transferring to Winton Woods for his junior season he added a great motor and a nasty streak we like to see out of linemen," Rivals.com Midwest analyst Josh Helmholdt said. "Brown is still very lean for his 6-foot-6 frame, but the room is there to add weight and not sacrifice any of that athleticism that has attracted offers from close to 40 programs already."

"Lee is clearly the top player in Colorado," Cassidy said. "He had another impressive season playing the top completion in the state. Add that in with impressive tour of last summer's camp circuit and you have a player it's easy to feel good about on the next level. Lee is seen as an early Nebraska lean because he comes from a family of Husker fans but his options are open for the time being."

A few spots down at No. 120 is Mesquite (Texas) Horn offensive tackle Conner Dyer and one spot behind him sits Miami (Fla.) Westminster Christian tight end Devonaire Clarington.

"Dyer has been a two-year starter at left tackle for Mesquite Horn, and he brings a strong combination of size and athleticism to the position," Howell said. "He has little bad weight at 6-foot-5, 280 pounds, with plenty of room to grow and build on his frame. Throw in his footwork and flexibility and he is the kind of offensive tackle college coaches tend to covet. He has already attracted several major college offers and continues to see his stock rise."

Codrington said: "Clarington has exceptional size at 6-foot-5, 220-pounds and he is rarely jammed at the line of scrimmage. He lines up at tight end, but also flexed out wide for a majority of his snaps. The Westminster Christian athlete improved his game this year and didn't just rely on his size. He was able to beat man-to-man coverage consistently and get down the field. This fall he snagged 36 passes for 741 yards and eight touchdowns."

In addition to Strickland, more than 30 prospects came from outside the Rivls250 to Watch list to earn spots in the rankings.



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